Shirley Lauver Anderson, 89, passed away Feb. 9, 2019. She grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the daughter of Merle and Annie Lauver.
She attended Brigham Young University, where she studied theater arts and was also the 1947 Banyan Queen. While attending BYU she met a dashing, young former Army Air Corps Pilot, Arthur “Art” Burton Anderson, whom she married on Aug. 6, 1948.
With the outbreak of the Korean War, Art was recalled into the United States Air Force and Shirley became a military wife for the next 20-plus years. At each new move and while raising a family, Shirley was routinely engaged in meaningful community service and volunteerism.
In the mid 1950s, she served for three years as a mental health volunteer at the Utah State Mental Hospital in Provo, Utah. She was the first female volunteer to work in the challenging environs of the violent men’s ward.
She coordinated nursing home visits and other compassionate service efforts as a member of the leadership of the Officers Wives Club at Chanute AFB, Illinois, and while stationed in Europe served in many volunteer capacities and also in support of Art as he served as Branch President of the American LDS Branch in Wiesbaden, Germany.
Years later in Utah, Shirley was a regular volunteer at the Salt Lake County Juvenile Detention Center, and following the move to St. George, served as a victims advocate for Washington County, a member of the St. George City Planning Commission and a volunteer at the Miracle Manor Retirement home.
Shirley had a love of all animals whether they had scales, fur or feathers and she delighted in her volunteer work at the St. George Animal Shelter. At the time of her death, she was an active member of the Assistance League of Southern Utah.
Being a Wyoming girl, Shirley loved to shoot guns, was a crack shot and carried a valid conceal/carry permit. Even recently, she enjoyed slipping away on the weekends with her son, Mike, to the desert to shoot targets.
From her childhood, she was an avid fisherman. She and Art loved trailer camping, boating and traveling. Among her greatest loves were music and theater with acting roles in little theater while in Maryland in Blithe Spirit and Li’l Abner. She served as a casting director’s assistant for several feature films produced in Southern Utah in the 1980s.
She was also an avid writer, producer and energetic director of MIA Roadshows as well as a tireless church chorister – frequently with her daughter, Kris, at the piano over the many years of such service. Her favorite holiday, often to the chagrin and sometimes astonishment of her children and their friends was Halloween. Enough said.
Shirley and Art enjoyed their activity in the LDS church, which included a mission to Australia and Oregon. Throughout her life, writing to missionaries was like a sport to Shirley. She would type letters (often on toilet paper or some other unexpected medium) and fill envelopes with clippings, comics and local stories to brighten a young missionary’s day.
Shirley’s greatest treasure was her family, which included five children: sons Timothy B. (Kathryn) and Michael B. (Kelly); daughters Kris (LuWayne), Kelly of St. George, Utah, and Heidi (Jerry) Hansen of Carlsbad, California; 21 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, and her husband, Art. She was predeceased by Viva Kuechle of Anchorage, Alaska, her biological mother, with whom she connected later in life and enjoyed a wonderful relationship for several years.
- Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 11 a.m. at the Desert Hills Ward Chapel, 675 East Desert Hills Drive, St. George, Utah.
- Visitation will be held Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 W. St. George Blvd., and on Saturday, prior to services, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the church.
- Interment will be in the Tonaquint Cemetery.
Shirley suggests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Assistance League of Southern Utah.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221.
For condolences, full obituary and funeral listings please visit Metcalf Mortuary online.